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2019’s best brand activation ideas

2019’s best brand activation ideas
11 June, 2019

We’ve rounded up the best brand activations of 2019 (so far)

It goes without saying that people in creative industries need a little inspiration every now and again.

Great marketing doesn’t happen by itself; it happens when ideas and imagination collide.

This year, we’ve been seeing some great brand activations around Melbourne, so we rounded up a few of our favourites.

If you’re thinking, hang on, what exactly is brand activation, and how does it differ from brand marketing, let us explain.

Brand activation refers to ‘activating’ a brand by allowing people to experience it firsthand – in other words, through a live event or experiential marketing.

It offers a powerful way to get people to interact and engage with your brand or product. No matter how much you love digital marketing, sometimes it can’t compete with the emotional pull of a live event.

From Google’s pop-up donut shops to Bumble’s beehive for professional networking, here are some of the best brand activations we’ve seen (so far) in 2019.

At Microhire, we can help you conceptualise, plan and produce a brand activation that gets people talking.

Is it a donut or a Home Mini?

google home mini brand activation

Leave it to Google to hit its latest brand activation campaign right out of the park.

To ‘activate’ their new home assistant, the Home Mini, the search engine giant partnered with local donut shops around the US. What do donuts have to do with home assistants, you ask?

Well, the Home Mini is a $49 smart speaker: that’s roughly the size of a donut.

So what Google did to give people hands-on time with its new product was to create an interactive Google Home experience inside 11 donut shops from San Francisco to Manhattan. When people visited the shops, they could ring a bell, ask the Home Mini a question, and collect a box from a pink conveyor belt.

The box contained either two free donuts or a free Google Home Mini.

Kind of a win-win situation, wouldn’t you say?

As a quirky brand activation idea that – bonus – highlighted the tiny size of the Home Mini, the campaign definitely boosted awareness of and engagement with the Home Mini around the world.

How Bumble Bizz buzzed its way into the networking space

brand activation

Popular dating app Bumble had a massive win with its brand activation campaign for Bumble Bizz, a professional networking platform designed to help people connect across their careers.

Building upon its bee-themed branding and tone of voice, Bumble created The Hive, a physical networking space where people could engage with other app users in real life. To make the experience extra buzzy and fun, the pop-up featured talks and panels covering topics like business relationships and female entrepreneurship from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Bumble’s heads of creative, Sara and Erin Foster.

The third pop-up for the female-focused dating app, The Hive was designed to embody the digital experience of using the new app while also building a sense of real-life community.

Bumble’s out-of-the-box thinking in taking an online app offline to demonstrate how it can enable users to work, network, and connect shows just how memorable and meaningful brand activations can be.

Turning Aesop’s fabled brand into an art installation

aesop brand activation

When it comes to the art of brand activation, you can’t look past global skincare label Aesop and their philosophy of ‘unselling’. Alchemists of luxurious products for the skin, hair and body, Aesop relies on brand activations and display technology rather than conventional branding and advertising.

Aesop’s most recent installation at the Myer Bourke Street window display in Melbourne was one of the largest digital installations the windows have ever housed. Epistēmē, a digital art series created by Dutch artist Bart Hess, comprised seven short films that expressed the skin’s response to different Aesop products.

Passersby could stop to watch the short, ephemeral films, which were accompanied by a moody, meditative soundscape. The installation spanned over 60 metres of street frontage and played across high-definition LCD monitors, creating an immersive and interactive experience for the public.

Both the image manipulation and the tightly choreographed movements of the featured models helped personify the action of the products in the air and on the skin. As an innovative brand activation, Aesop’s work left lasting ripples across Melbourne’s marketing industry and will doubtless pave the way for more interactive brand activation trends in 2019.

Want more brand activation inspiration?

At Microhire, we offer the most comprehensive event staging services in Australia. We can help you take your live events, brand activation’s, experiential marketing and annual conferences to the next level.

To learn more about brand activations and find out how to push customers to engage with your brand directly, contact our expert event specialists at Microhire.


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